The number of foreign language speakers in Finland has now surpassed Swedish speakers.

THE number of foreign language speakers in Finland has exceeded that of Swedish speakers for the first time, reports Helsingin Sanomat. According to Statistics Finland there are 293,536 foreign language speakers living here. In comparison, there are 290,764 Swedish speakers currently in Finland.

It is soon time for another Siivouspäivä (Cleaning Day), with Helsinki transformed into one big flea market.

The event is a celebration of urban culture as well as an opportunity for citizens to sell their unwanted items on streets, parks, and other public spaces without any rental fee. It is a unique day when Helsinki does not require permit for selling something in public areas, as long as the selling location has been registered on the Siivouspäivä website.

STATISTiCS released earlier this year revealed that 9,292 applicants were granted citizenship by the Finnish Immigration Service last year. Of these, 8,500 obtained citizenship by application and 792 by declaration.

The number of applicants was up by 10 per cent on the previous year, with 83 per cent of all decisions made being positive. Russians represented the largest group bestowed with citizenship in 2013, followed by Somalis, Iraqis and Afghans.

James O’Sullivan

When I asked Tanja Pfeifle, an exchange student at the University of Helsinki, to tell me about her city, Amberg, she described it as “a small and typical Bavarian town.”

Amberg is indeed a small town with almost 1,000 years of history, which you can see in its buildings and the old town. However, despite its small size, Amberg is also a lively town where you can enjoy different events through the year. “I would recommend to come in July when the Altstadtfest takes place, because you can listen to several bands playing live music all over the town,” says Pfeifle.

Radio UusJussi celebrates one year of broadcasting across the country.

Radio UusJussi, an online radio for immigrants located in Pori, is celebrating its first anniversary on air this year. Packed with programmes about culture, language and businesses, the radio emerged from the Multicultural Association of Satakunta with the objective of giving immigrants the opportunity to voice their opinions and express their culture.